Although at first glance this post appears optimistic, it does contain a fairly large wallow in my own self-pity. I heartily recommend that all potential readers of this post should perhaps carry on as they were.
Read my previous post, or someone elses. I’ll just be further down the page in the foetal position.
Wrong way. Go back.
Still here? Seriously? Don’t you realise you’ve just pressed the red button marked ‘do not press’? Ok. I’ll try not to sound too… er… depressed.
I recently realised that I started this blog to seek writing assurance. Prior to this revelation, I had convinced myself that that I blogged merely as a writing strategy. Stage 1 would introduce others to my blog posts, Stage 2 would see me post my creative writing and Stage 3, would (just maybe, eventually) see me completing a first draft of something. And while those clinical stages still apply, the driving force was and is assurance.
In truth, this ‘realisation’ was more like a dissolution of denial. You see, I feel a fraud calling myself a writer. Blah, blah. Broken record. I’ve said as much in my very first post, but I warned you, right, with that disclaimer at the top of the page? Ok. So, because I don’t believe I’m a natural writer, I’ve only told three people who know me that I like to write and probably only because they won’t ask if they can read any of it. So all in all, I’m sparing my family and friends from the pain of telling me that I shouldn’t give up my day job (I could look at that in a more positive way too but I’m trying to wallow).
Cue blogging. A sanctuary for fearful unwriterly writers. Sheltered by a degree of anonymity I have not yet been booed off the internet, nor have I been disliked (fortunately there isn’t a button for that) and I have even met people in this virtual world who are very encouraging (you know who you are, and thank you). Furthermore, assurance can be found in other writers’ blogs, both with those facing the same kind of anguish I am and those experienced writers who offer support, how-to advice and writerly optimism.
This week I’ve been floundering. I haven’t touched my WiP and I spent well over an hour toying with a writers’ prompt that only required me to construct a sentence. Epic fail. Deep in a hole of self-doubt I trawled blogs and the interweb searching for that piece of reassurance that resonated like a song of heartache. Instead I found this:
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that” Stephen King
Barbed truth. That’s the type that hurts as you swallow it and leaves you with indigestion. I’m not an exception to this rule. Writers who don’t read are not successful writers. I would be better off investing my time into something that could be spoken with words like ‘achievable’ and ‘possible’. My only defence is – I like to write and I want to write better. And that’s my shred of optimism – I’ll be that person who tried to prove Stephen King wrong.